Skip to content

Why Does VPN Slow Down My Internet Speed?

vpn working

VPNs are gaining in popularity among internet users, individuals, and businesses globally as concerns about internet privacy and security spread around the globe.

However, specific VPNs can significantly slow down your internet connection speed, which might severely influence your productivity.

What affects VPN speed?

We must first examine how the VPN encryption process functions to comprehend why and how a VPN could slow down an internet connection. Essentially, it sends all your communications and browsing activities through a remote server, giving you a brand-new, anonymous IP address associated with that server. 

When utilizing a VPN, many factors can affect your internet speed. The most typical elements that affect your rate are:

The location of your selected VPN server

The location of the server you are connecting to significantly impacts how quickly you can access the internet. If you want to ensure that your internet connection passes through a VPN as soon as possible, try connecting to a server not very far from you. 

The likelihood that your internet will be slow increases with the distance between where you are and the server you are connected to. Thus, it’s a good idea to sign up for a VPN service that has several servers spread throughout dozens of countries to have a fast connection.

Encryption

You won’t typically notice internet speed differences, although encryption occasionally affects things. For instance, the encryption most likely to cause your internet performance to deteriorate is OpenVPN Protocol. 

On the other hand, one of the quick VPN encryptions is PPTP. Many VPNs rely on IKEv2 or L2PT/IPSec, which are renowned for their dependability in terms of security and speed. 

Security protocol

The security protocol adopted by your VPN service also affects internet speed. For instance, a military-grade security protocol like the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) running on 256 bits may add a little delay due to the more involved encryption procedure.

Most of the better VPN service providers will give a variety of security protocols. Lower-grade protocols can be better if speed is more important to you than security. 

Even with lower-level encryption, your IP address would remain anonymous, and you’d have the fastest possible connectivity. 

Internet speed offered by your ISP

A VPN won’t be the only factor slowing down your internet if it already has a poor speed. Internet service providers (ISPs) occasionally purposefully limit bandwidth.

Users may notice this as a slow internet speed for a particular time. This typically implies that as a user, you won’t be able to download or stream anything as quickly as you usually could. 

How to speed up your VPN connection

We can find ways to make your VPN connection faster. Although not all of our suggestions will be effective for everyone, even basic applications should significantly improve. 

Restart your router/modem

This one is as easy as it seems. A traditional reset will probably be beneficial. 

Additionally, remember that a VPN connection made through your network will likely be slower than one earned through a device (unless you have a very powerful router). You may only want to utilize the VPN on your computer or phone if you’ve configured it on your network and the speed is too slow. Never use both at once since this will only slow down your connection. 

Choose a nearby server

Utilizing a separate server is the simplest solution. Choose that Boston server over the one in Los Angeles if you’re in New York. Use one in the UK or Ireland if you’re in Britain rather than one on the continent of Europe. 

Try choosing a server close to where you are to reduce the time it takes for your data to be transported to and from the VPN server. 

Change protocols

Modifying protocol settings could put your security in danger. However, switching from TCP to UDP or switching to IKEv2 instead of OpenVPN if security isn’t your main priority can speed up a slow connection. 

Adjust your encryption level

You might be able to alter the encryption type you’re using based on your device, platform, and VPN. But before experimenting with protocols, learn about their variations and any potential risks involved. Select the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec protocols offered by the NordVPN apps for maximum security.

Turn off the firewall and other local security software

Your antivirus program and firewalls can slow down your VPN speed because they filter outgoing data. You can check to determine if these tools are affecting your VPN speed by momentarily disabling them. 

Use a wired connection

Wi-Fi hotspots are pretty helpful. A wired connection, however, is less susceptible to interference. Therefore, if you use a wired connection, your speeds may be faster because there is less competition for bandwidth.

What is a good VPN connection speed?

In the modern era, a VPN connection speed of at least 20 Mbps is expected. This speed is adequate for routine operations like web browsing, streaming videos, and file downloads. With a variety of well-known speed test services, you can instantly check the speed of your VPN server. 

How much does a VPN slow down the internet?

A minor internet speed decrease is entirely average when utilizing a VPN. You will notice a 10-20% decline in the rate. For instance, if your bandwidth is 100 Mbps, using a VPN will increase your speed to 80 to 90 Mbps. 

Conclusion

There is less chance that your high-speed connection may suffer if you use a reliable VPN service. However, the causes above can occasionally result in speed difficulties. 

The speed of your VPN connection can be significantly increased by resolving difficulties with these components.